Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation for Transportation Electrification Technical Committee

Aims and Strategic Objectives

Starting from the hybrid Toyota Prius development (dating back to 1990), Transportation Electrification (TE) has become a hot topic in the IEEE, leading to the establishment of an IEEE Transaction and several conferences on TE.”

The role of IEEE DEIS is to foster TE by ensuring the performance of the insulation of all components. This entails evaluating/developing alternative/novel insulation systems, to select the most appropriate options, define ways to qualify insulation systems for demanding environments as well as finding the most appropriate test techniques. 

The strategic mission of the DEIS TC will be:

  1. Group all parties from IEEE DEIS working on this topic.
  2. Involve OEMs, Tier 1 suppliers, and dielectric manufacturers.
  3. Prepare review papers critically assessing results reported in literature for (a) electric vehicles, (b) aircraft, (c) ships, and (d) trains.
  4. Present papers at non-DEIS conferences to show the capabilities of DEIS members in TE.
  5. Forming consortia for submitting competitive projects
  6. Supporting and contributing to standardization (IEEE, IEC, NEMA,SAE)
  7. Prepare web pages and host webinars for the DEIS site.
  8. Organize special sessions and tutorials at DEIS-sponsored conferences and/or jointly with other societies.
  9. Development of standards for electrical insulation for use in electrification of transportation

General Background

Sustainable mobility is crucial for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The features of sustainable mobility are both societal and technical (see Fig. 1), but transport electrification plays a key role to improve mobility sustainability (reducing the consumption of fossil fuels, easing energy markets, allowing more people to have access to mobility system) and improve the environment (by reducing air and acoustic pollution). Besides ground transportation (electric cars, bikes, busses, and trucks), the idea of transport electrification spread to aircrafts (More Electrical Aircraft, MEA), and ships. Trains are also an integral part of transport electrification, but their technology seems more mature compared to the other transportation systems.

The role of the insulation system of many components (induction motors, power electronics and cables) is critical to achieve satisfactory reliability of the drive. Yet, insulation systems are stretched by opposing constraints:

  • Higher power densities are required to reduce the weight and the volume of the various components. Higher power densities imply, however, larger electrical and thermal stresses.
  • The insulation systems must face more challenging environments characterized by large temperature swings, ultraviolet radiation, vibrations, humidity, or other pollutants (e.g., lubricants, metal chips). Knowledge of long-term behaviour of dielectrics subjected to such multi-stress environments needs to be further developed.
  • For MEA and, to a less extent, for electric vehicle, the electrical insulation system must operate at reduced ambient pressures, with increased risk of partial discharge activity.

These conditions pose significant challenges at the time of selecting the most appropriate insulation system, demonstrating its effectiveness (qualification) and testing the quality of manufactured units in times compatible with production lines (verification). 

Current activities

The IEEE Transportation Electrification Community invites Ph.D. graduates to submit for the IEEE TEC Prize Ph.D. Thesis Talk. The competition is to provide an international platform for all Ph.D. researchers in the field of Transportation Electrification to present their project — both in academia and industry. Details here.

Electrification of low-clearance bridges for railway (UoS/Tony Davies HV Laboratory):


Arc in aircraft connectors



Committee membership and affiliations

MonaGhassemiVirginia Tech
TriBuiGore & Associates
CaoYangUni. Connecticut
ThomasAndritschU. Southampton 
TonyChenU. Manchester

Contact details for further information:

Andrea Cavallini

University of Bologna

[email protected]